| Mar. 3, 2008
What's New -- Products and Services
This month AVweb's survey of the latest products and services for pilots, mechanics and aircraft owners brings you online courses, Sport-Pilot training, flight bags and much more
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.
For pilots who can't hangar their airplanes, any inclement weather presents an opportunity for a damaged aircraft. AeroSpoiler is a unique lift-reduction system used to protect aircraft parked outside in high-wind conditions, including thunderstorms, tornadoes and even hurricanes.
PVC sheets in the shape of Venetian blind slats are held in place on the aircraft wing via commercial-grade suction cups. Each AeroSpoiler Kit contains 10 suction cup/receiver assemblies and eight 30-inch by 3-inch blades.
The complete kit provides 20 feet of wing coverage and can reduce the lift-producing capability of an aircraft wing by as much as 96 percent.
Installation takes minutes, by attaching the suction cups to the wing and inserting the blades. The suction cups can withstand wind over 200 mph. Constructed of injection-molded ABS and thick PVC sheets with marine-grade stainless-steel hardware, AeroSpoilers will last for years, even in harsh, coastal environments.
The AeroSpoiler is available for $379 from Sporty's Web site.
Direct Approach IFR Procedure Development
Direct Approach Consulting has introduced a new service for air operators, airports, resource companies and others with an interest in developing and implementing new IFR approach and departure procedures.
Typically, anyone in need of a new instrument approach or departure was required to request one through the local civil aviation authority or air traffic service provider. With budget restrictions and staffing shortages being the norm, obtaining these services has meant extreme delays for those interested in improving their safety and service. Now, instead of waiting years for their requests to be filled, those operators can contact Direct Approach and have a new procedure in a fraction of the time.
According to Owner and Lead Designer Marinus Waterberg, Direct Approach is the only design company trained in PANS-OPS, TP308 and TERPS, and is also experienced in airport certification.
More information on Direct Approach can be found on its Web site.
National Weather Association On-line Courses
The National Weather Association (a not-for-profit organization) has developed free aviation-weather tutorials.
Weather Theory for Pilots is an interactive program designed to help general aviation pilots better understand and apply weather theory and technologies to their flying activities. Although specifically intended for new or low-time pilots, modules provide those without formal recurrent programs with refresher training in fundamental weather principles and their application to flight operations.
The following modules are currently available:
- Introduction (29 min.)
Aircraft Performance (16 min.)
- Introduction (8 min.)
- Moisture (5 min.)
- Vertical Motion (6 min.)
- Stability (10 min.)
Modules under development that will be released in the future include:
- Aviation Weather Forecasts
Application of Weather Theory
- The Area Forecast
- Weather Advisories
- Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts
- Low Ceilings and Visibilities
- Non-Convective Low-Level Wind Shear
Visit the NWA Web site to take these courses.
U.S. Flight Academy Sport Pilot Training
U.S. Flight Academy (USFA) has made a commitment to provide flight training for anyone desiring a Sport Pilot certificate. The program is priced at $3,783 and can be completed in as little as 10 days. If students show up with a passing score on their written exam, and the weather cooperates, USFA expects to complete the course in a week.
Included in the program is 21 hours of flight training in a REMOS Light Sport Aircraft and 28 hours of ground school, which should prepare people with average abilities to pass the Sport Pilot checkride. Students must also spend some time on homework assignments to prepare for the written exam if they don't take it before starting flight training. To accommodate people from outside the Denton area, USFA has made arrangements for special rates with local motels.
Prospective pilots who purchase an LSA from U.S. Aviation before they start working on their license will receive the flight training free and then can fly home in their own aircraft.
Anyone wishing to upgrade to Private Pilot status can easily do so right away or at a later date at USFA. The flight school has a professional pilot program in place that prepares students for jobs with commercial airlines or corporate flying. They have agreements with several regional carriers assuring professional pilot graduates a job interview.
For more information visit the USFA Web site.
Seattle Avionics Software Voyager 4.0
Seattle Avionics Software has released version 4.0 of the Voyager Flight Software System.
Voyager 4.0 features a completely new charting engine based on DirectX technology ... the same technology used in Google Earth and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Voyager's all-new charting engine redraws images quickly and is capable of updating the screen more than 50 times a second, depending on hardware.
In addition Voyager 4.0 incorporates over 200 product enhancements and improvements. Key among them is the ability to display any combination of computer-generated (often called digital) charts with scanned, geo-referenced sectional and IFR charts, which look identical to paper charts. This enables pilots to both plan and fly using geo-referenced sectionals or IFR en route charts with overlaid weather, TFRs, and aircraft position. Voyager 4.0 seamlessly merges all sectionals and IFR charts so pilots need not select particular charts to display; they simply pick the type of chart to display and Voyager does the rest.
Other major enhancements to Voyager include three-dimensional, highway-in-the-sky features, night-vision-friendly color scheme, and much more:
- DirectX-based charting engine;
- Scanned sectionals and IFR low/IFR high charts merged with digital TFR and weather data. In addition, Voyager shows aircraft position in GlassView, Voyager's moving-map module;
- Personal layouts so you can customize everything on the screen with a single click;
- Web Synch, which performs "one-click" data synchronization among multiple computers;
- Completely updated GlassView module; and
- More modern look and feel, including 3D as well as 2D views and enhanced chart colors.
Seattle Avionics Software offers on its Web site self-running product demonstrations, free live on-line "Webinars," and a free version of Voyager called FreeFlight.
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Helmet/Headset Combinations
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty has added the Lynx Helmet to their product line. This new helmet is manufactured from polycarbonate with a styrene trauma liner and a perforated, velour-fabric lining. What makes the helmet ideal for aviation is its configuration allowing the owner to integrate a Micro System headset inside. The high resistance of the Micro System headsets to noise and wind makes it ideal for open-cockpit, ultralight, powered-parachute and LSA flying.
For those who desire the addition of sun visors or clear wind-visors, there are threaded bushings in the outer shell of the helmet. The helmet is durable, lightweight and easy to place over or remove from a head. It is also certified to the European standard EN966 and is CE marked.
The Lynx helmets sell for $264.95 and can be ordered online at Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.The Micro System headsets are also available at Aircraft Spruce and must be ordered separately.
Sporty's Redesigned Flight Gear
Sporty's Flight Gear bags have been redesigned to add more features and better organization.
The new line, consisting of five different bags designed with a specific type of pilot in mind, has an all-new look and dozens of new features, including:
- Stronger, more water-resistant fabric;
- Ultra-strong metal hardware that won't bend or break;
- Stylish two-color exterior for a modern look;
- New pockets for GPSs, sunglasses, cell phones and more;
- Double the number of quick-access chart pockets;
- New organizer sections to store pens, keys, license and more;
- Rubber cleats that keep the bottom of each bag elevated and clean;
- Sturdy, oversized, YKK zippers that feature fabric pull tabs;
- Included movable organizers that let you customize the interior of your bag;
- Padded shoulder strap; and
- Scratch-preventing, soft-lined interior.
Flight Gear bags will still feature double-stitched seams, a patented split flap transceiver pocket that accommodates the antenna, and a wrap-around handle that can support more than 200 lbs. Padded pockets protect valuable headsets when not in use.
Custom embroidery is available with up to three initials, and all Flight Gear bags come with an six-year warranty. Flight Gear bags are available at Sporty's Web site.
Fly Utah! Books
PilotMall.com has released Fly Utah!, a set of two volumes that encompass a treasure-trove of backcountry airstrips in what may be the last aviation frontier of the American West. With Fly Utah!, don't expect paved foot trails with cutesy little informational signs. Be the first to explore ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings or squeeze through a 1000-feet-deep, two-foot-wide slot canyon. Search for the lost gold mines of the Spanish Conquistadors and trade at an authentic Indian trading post -- far off the beaten tourist path.
Fly Utah! contains 950 pages and 83 airstrips, 57 of which are previously uncharted. Airstrips range from a challenging 500-foot overgrown strip clinging to a sandstone cliff to an exquisite 1900-foot-long, thin-air, mountain strip at 9200 MSL, with several mild-mannered ones (and even a couple paved strips) mixed in for variety. Lots of primitive airplane camping and a few top-notch lodges and resorts.
Fly Utah! is available from PilotMall.com for $54.99.
AvShop has released a new line of sterling silver and 14-carat gold jewelry. The line consists of aviation themed earrings, necklaces, and complete sets.
The sterling silver line includes a biplane, taildragger, and attitude-indicator pieces. The 14-carat gold line includes a Twin Commanche, P-51, Cessna, and three propeller-themed pieces.
For more information, visit AvShop.
Precise Flight HID Lighting for Robinson R22
Precise Flight has been awarded an STC for outfitting Robinson R22-series helicopters with the PreciseLite, Precise Flight's high intensity discharge (HID) aviation lighting.
The PreciseLite HID units provide increased visibility for the pilot, and for other aircraft operating in the vicinity, in low visibility situations or dense urban environments.
Precise Flight's line of lighting solutions, PreciseLite, was introduced in 2005 and includes the LED and HID recognition and navigation lighting and the Pulselite conspicuity system.
Visit Precise Flight for additional information.
Sporty's Ribbed Aircraft Drip Map
Dirty engine fluids can wreak havoc and turn a spotless hangar into an eyesore. Sporty's Ribbed Aircraft Drip Mat will protect your hangar floor by collecting any fluids that drip from your airplane.
Measuring 3 feet by 5 feet, the Drip Mat can easily be trimmed to fit any size nosewheel. The ribbed design prevents fluids from pooling and the 100% polyvinyl construction material withstands all aviation-grade fluids. It can be washed and used again and again. It also rolls up for easy storage.
The Ribbed Aircraft Drip Mat is available for $59.95 and may be ordered at Sporty's Web site.
Want more? Check out What's New from other months.
If you know of a new product or service other AVweb readers should hear about, please send us a note.